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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
630-472-9700Available 24/7

Chicago PD under Fire for Stop and Frisk Practices

Posted on in Criminal Defense

stop and frisk, search and seizure, Illinois criminal defense lawyerIn March, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released the results of a study they had conducted regarding the Chicago Police Department’s activity when it came to stop and frisk practices.  The report was critical of the department, accusing the department of “misuse” of the law, alleging a disproportionate amount of stop and frisk searches for black people. According to the statistics cited by the report, 72 percent of all stop and frisk searches the Chicago PD conducted between May and August of 2014 were on black individuals. That report is now being cited in a lawsuit filed by six black men who say they were subjected to “suspicionless” street stops, which were in violation of the constitutional rights.

Chicago police officers are required to fill out contact cards for anyone they stop but do not arrest. Information collected for the card includes the age, address, race, and distinguishable marks or tattoos the person stopped may have. They must also fill out the reason for the stop, as well as the time and location of the stop.

During the fourth months the ACLU conducted their study, Chicago Police conducted 250,000 stop and frisks which did not result in an arrest. The report found that in it at least 50 percent of those stops, the officer gave inadequate legal basis for reasonable suspicion to make the stop.

People are protected against unreasonable search and seizure by law enforcement under the Fourth Amendment. However, in a landmark 1968 case, Terry v Ohio, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment does allow law enforcement to stop, detain, and frisk a person without a warrant or probable cause to arrest the person, as long as the law enforcement officer is able to present a clear objective, as well as reasonable basis, as to what criminal activity the officer believed to be occurring.

The name of the defendant of the case, John Terry, is where the term “Terry hold” came from as another reference to stop and frisk.

If you have been charged with a crime based on a possible illegal search and seizure, contact an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney today. Call the offices of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. today at 630-472-9700.

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